Idaho Dispatch

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Op-Ed: Unelected Central District Health Board Needs Accountability

By • July 20, 2020

In a surprise to nobody, the ironically named Central District Health Board of Health voted on Tuesday to mandate masks for all of Ada County, including children above the age of 2, while also prohibiting public and private gatherings of more than 50 people.

Anyone who has observed the autocratic policy recommendations of the CDH during the COVID-19 pandemic might wonder how an unelected board can have so much power over so many people, yet also be unaccountable to any legislative body or governing agency. Not one of the CDH Board of Health members has a background in infectious disease, epidemiology, or pandemics.

The CDH District 4 Board of Health is comprised of a retired Registered Nurse, a Family Nurse practitioner, a Family practice physician, an Idaho state representative, and 3 county commissioners. The CDH District 4 Director Russell Duke has a Master’s Degree in Industrial Hygiene. This is the group that now decrees masks are mandatory for the citizens of Ada County.

If we are to accept the total number of deaths in Idaho due to COVID-19 are 110 people (March 26-present), with a total number of approximately 12,500 cases, you might wonder how this could be considered a pandemic. 25 deaths are “confirmed” from Ada County, according to the CDH website.  Tragic, certainly, but a pandemic?

The CDH has been irrationally fomenting fear at the expense of the citizens of Ada, Elmore, Boise, and Valley Counties for months. The Board of Health has focused on the recent “explosion” of cases of COVID-19 while ignoring that the increase in cases is a simple consequence of exponentially increased testing. There hasn’t been an increase in the number of daily deaths; in fact, the mortality rate for COVID-19 has been on a steady and drastic decline for weeks.

The question is whether or not we can even trust the numbers in the first place. The numbers have been wildly inconsistent since the beginning, largely due to the unscientific coding of COVID as the cause of death in so many cases while ignoring co-morbidities and other conditions. Add to that the fact that the state has further muddied the picture by using a sliding scale standard of “presumed or probable” in assigning COVID as a cause of death.

But these ill-defined “facts” didn’t stop the ill-credentialed Board of Health from voting to mandate masks for healthy people, purportedly to “stop the spread” of a disease that has a 99.7% survival rate and seems to be fizzling out as most viruses naturally do during the warmer months of summer. Not one of the board members could see the absolute lack of logic in the masking of healthy children, when children make up the demographic least likely to be affected by the coronavirus, and, according to Dr. Steve Nemerson, the least likely to transmit the disease. Dr. Nemerson should know- he is a pediatric physician.

Dr. Nemerson is also the Chief Clinical Officer of the St. Alphonsus Health System, which seems to be increasingly interested in social justice causes. Dr. Nemerson is not on the board of the CDH but he was asked to testify at the Board of Health meeting. Like the rest of the CDH Board of Health members, Dr. Nemerson does not appear to have any professional medical background in infectious disease, epidemiology, or pandemics. Thus, while he’s a medical professional, he is no more qualified to make mask recommendations or mandates that exceed those of the Centers for Disease Control guidelines than the rest of the CDH Board of Health members.

So why does this unelected board have so much power, and why, in the face of contrary evidence, would they vote to mandate masks?

The topic of “herd immunity” came up in the meeting. Even with a spike in cases, and as mortality rates plummet (they were never drastically high in the first place), naturally acquired herd immunity seems to be occurring in the general population. Dr. Nemerson said that 30% of those known to have COVID don’t even present any symptoms.

Commissioner Chairman Elting Hasbrouck said, “To me that tells me that we are going to get to herd immunity pretty darn fast on this virus.”

But pediatrician Dr. Nemerson said, “No.”

Hasbrouck asked, “Will we ever achieve herd immunity?”

Nemerson replied, “We will through vaccination.”

So there you have it. The goal is mandatory vaccination, rather than letting nature take its course, as it always does.

This exchange received no push back, no further questioning from the rest of the board members. In fact, during the duration of the meeting, these remotely participating board members didn’t ask a single question that challenged the wisdom or need to mandate masks. Not a single board member discussed the health risks posed by mandatory masking of healthy people, which include impaired oxygen intake, drastically increased CO2 intake, bacteria build up, and increased hand touching of the face. This is the “Board of Health?”

It was abundantly clear to anyone watching and listening to the meeting that the Central District Health Board of Health had already decided beforehand to vote to mandate masks for healthy adults and healthy children.

But if masks work, why didn’t the Central District Health Board of Health meet in person when they voted to mandate masks for Ada County? Why do these unelected “health” officials hold their weekly meetings via Zoom online conferencing? Why don’t they wear masks and meet in person?

Figuratively, masks are the only clothes these unaccountable emperors now wear. It’s time to strip the Central District Health Board of Health of their autocratic power of health policy mandates.

It should be noted that one day after the Central District Health Board of Health decreed its unnecessary fear porn mask mandate, Idaho recorded a single day high of 7 deaths attributed to COVID. How “interesting” for the narrative that masks are necessary. Yet it begs more questions: how is the state of Idaho reporting these numbers? Who reports and who compiles this data? Are we just supposed to blindly accept them as true? Why is nobody challenging these numbers, in the interest of the public good?

Is it too much to expect that our elected representatives and legislators will look into this?


Tags: Coronavirus, Covid-19, Doug Nickle, Idaho, Masks

3 thoughts on “Op-Ed: Unelected Central District Health Board Needs Accountability

  1. Is there no one on our side in government to stand up to this tyranny and put an end to this once and for all?

  2. What is the process to get these incompetent commissioners and their selected health board members removed?
    I know of many that would sign a petition to recall or place a vote of no confidence in these unaccountable people.

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